Independent Homestays

What is the Independent Homestay Program?

The Experiment in International Living pioneered the homestay concept 80 years ago. Today, living with a family in another country is universally accepted as one of the best ways to meet new people and to appreciate and understand the cultural diversity that makes up our world.

A homestay is more than a place to stay or a couch to sleep on. Host families open up their homes and hearts to people who wish to immerse themselves in another culture, share in the everyday life of a family and feel part of a community. They provide meals, accommodations and friendship as well as an introduction to their community, country, culture, language, and local customs.

Where Can I Go?

Independent Homestay programs are offered in  Canada, Chile, Ecuador, GermanyGhana, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and The United Kingdom.

How Does It Work?

The host family may be a couple with or without children, a single parent, or a single person interested in other cultures. Federation EIL offices around the world maintain networks of local coordinators who select, screen, and monitor host families and provide assistance and information to ensure a good match between family and participant. Within each family there is a different dynamic, but they are all motivated by the idea of making cross-cultural friendships.

Participants travel independently and are not bound by the schedule of any group. You pick the start date and the length: one, two, three, or four weeks.

Costs vary depending on the country that is selected and the number of weeks.  Program fees typically include: family accommodation, 3 meals per day, 24-hour emergency help, and pre-departure orientation materials. Fees also cover the administrative costs of the program including any payment to the local representative and in some cases a small stipend to the host family to cover food, linens and the like.